When Bronté Dinges, CCAS ’16, toured GW as a prospective student, she was in a wheelchair with a torn ligament in her leg. Yet she found that everyone she encountered, from the tour guide to passing students, went out of their way to help.
“I decided then and there that this was the kind of community I wanted to be part of,” Bronté, now a rising senior majoring in English, remembers. “If I were a more romantic student of English literature, I might consider it fate.”
She hasn’t looked back since.
The first in her family to go to college, Bronté knew financing her academic ambition wasn’t going to be easy. Thankfully, GW had her back, and she was awarded financial support from a variety of sources, including the competitive Presidential Academic Scholarship. She also received the K. Frederick and Madeline G. Okano Scholarship, which was established in 1998 by Madeline G. Okano, a loyal friend and supporter of the university.
“These scholarships are the sole reason that I am still able to study at the George Washington University,” she says. “It has opened innumerable doors to my future.”
Bronté credits GW with helping her secure an internship at Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee’s executive office. After “getting her foot in the door,” the position turned into two consecutive summer internships; first, as the now-presidential candidate’s personal intern, and then as the head intern of his communications and press services office. In those roles, she helped draft press releases, speeches, and legislative updates and explored the inner mechanics of state government.
“This experience-of-a-lifetime is one that I believe not many college students can say that they have had,” Bronté says, “and it is all because of GW’s unique networking system and preparation of its students.”
Bronté hasn’t taken this supportive environment for granted. She has gone above and beyond to give back to the GW community and the local D.C. area through Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA), GW’s only community service sorority. Originally drawn to its motto “sisterhood through service,” Bronté soon adopted this motto as her own as well. Since joining ESA, she has personally completed more than 100 hours of community service with a wide range of organizations including DC Central Kitchen, Thrive DC, and St. Mary’s Court. Bronté has also taken on active leadership roles in ESA, serving as its secretary, vice president, and member of the Standards Board over the past two years.
“My experiences at GW have absolutely lived up to my expectations, and far surpassed them,” says Bronté, explaining that these unique opportunites exemplify how she sees her future as a graduate of GW. “Thanks to GW and the support I received, the future is full of possibilities.”
It’s no surprise that her next goals still focus on service and helping others: she hopes to work in civil rights or social action advocacy after she graduates next spring.
“To me, language is the most powerful tool one can utilize because it has the ability to create dialogue necessary for change,” Bronté says. “With an English degree from GW, I can give a voice to those who cannot do so for themselves.”